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Early Hebrews Believed in Leviathan

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When I was a boy, I heard my father give the Society's hour talk on the book of Job about 10 times. The talk spent a good portion of the time showing that Behemoth was a hippopotamus, and Leviathan was a crocodile.

Of course, very little time was spent on the fact that the book of Job also says the following about the Behemoth, which is not at all true of a hippo:

(Job 40:15-20) 15 Here, now, is Be·heʹmoth, which I made as I made you. . . . 17 It stiffens [or, sways] its tail like a cedar; The sinews of its thighs are woven together. 18 Its bones are tubes of copper; Its limbs are like wrought-iron rods. 19 It ranks first [or, "it is the beginning" -- NWT footnote] among the works of God; Only its Maker can approach it with his sword. 20 For the mountains produce food for it, Where all the wild animals play.

The little tail of the hippopotamus does not move or sway like a cedar. It was hardly the beginning of God's creative works. The mountains do not produce food for it. Creatures much more terrifying than hippos have been caught and hunted by man for centuries. When we know what Behemoth is we can then understand why it is tied to the creation of man (cf. "which I made as I made you"), and why it is said to be "first" among God's creative works. Another curious thing about "Behemoth" is that it is a plural word. If it is a type of "plural of majesty" (as in Elohim, or "God of Gods"), then it could mean something like, "Beast of Beasts."

The Leviathan is even less like a crocodile than Behemoth is like a hippo. Note:

(Job 41:1-34) . . .“Can you catch Le·viʹa·than with a fishhook Or hold down its tongue with a rope?  . . . 7 Will you fill its hide with harpoons Or its head with fishing spears?  8 Lay your hand on it; You will remember the battle and never do it again!  9 Any hope of subduing it is futile. The mere sight of it would overwhelm you. 10 No one dares to stir it up. . . . 12 I will not be silent about its limbs, About its mightiness and its well-formed body. 13 Who has removed its outer covering? Who will enter its open jaws? 14 Who can pry open the doors of its mouth? Its teeth all around are fearsome. 15 Its back has rows of scales Tightly sealed together. 16 Each one fits so closely to the other That no air can come between them. 17 They are stuck to one another; They cling together and cannot be separated. 18 Its snorting flashes out light, And its eyes are like the rays of dawn. 19 Flashes of lightning go out of its mouth; Fiery sparks escape. 20 Smoke pours out of its nostrils, Like a furnace fueled with rushes. 21 Its breath sets coals ablaze, And a flame shoots from its mouth. 22 There is great strength in its neck, And dismay runs before it. 23 The folds of its flesh are tightly joined together; They are firm, as though cast upon it and immovable. 24 Its heart is hard as stone, Yes, hard as a lower millstone. 25 When it rises up, even the mighty are frightened; Its thrashing causes bewilderment. 26 No sword that reaches it will prevail; Nor will spear, dart, or arrowhead. 27 It regards iron as straw, Copper as rotten wood. 28 An arrow does not make it flee; Slingstones turn into stubble against it. 29 It regards a club as stubble, And it laughs at the rattling of a javelin. 30 Underneath, it is like sharp fragments of pottery; It spreads itself in the mud like a threshing sledge. 31 It makes the deep boil just like a pot; It stirs up the sea like an ointment pot. 32 It leaves a glistening wake in its path. One would think that the deep had white hair. 33 There is nothing like it on the earth, A creature made to have no fear. 34 It glares at everything that is haughty. It is king over all the majestic wild beasts.

Do crocodiles snort out fire and sparks from their nostrils? Do their eyes shine brightly? Does lightning go out of its mouth? is it like a furnace inside, so that its very breath sends a flame that can set coals ablaze? Does it really stir up the deep seas like a cauldron? Looking again at the New World Translation it's hard for me to believe, now, that I ever thought this was a crocodile.

Of course, part of the problem is that Witnesses, like many fundamentalist religions, too, do not want to see "fabulous" creatures in the Bible. It opens up the Bible to ridicule if it refers to "real" dragons and unicorns and beasts that seem never to have existed. Yet the idea appears even more "fabulous" if we read from some other translations, or more especially, the "Septuagint" LXX era translations, which would have been based on Hebrew manuscripts from as early as 400 BCE, rather than the NWT which is based on Hebrew manuscripts from as late as 1100 CE.

Here are some of the quotes from Job in the LXX:

    Hello guest!

Job 40:15-23 But look now you are familiar with "monsters" [Behemoth]; they eat grass like cows. Look now its strength is in its loins, and its power in its belly's navel. It stood up its tail like a cypress, and its sinews have been interwoven. Its flanks are flanks of copper, and its spine is cast iron. . . . This is the chief of what the Lord created, made to be mocked at by his angels. But when it went up on a steep mountain, it brought its gladness to the quadrupeds in Tartarus. . . . If there is a flood, it will never take notice. {*It trusts that the Jordan will tumble into its mouth.}

Job 40:25-41:26 [Masoretic 41:1-34] And will you catch a dragon [Leviathan] with a fish hook? . . . And do nations feed on it, and do the Phoenician races divvy it up? And a whole fleet, gathered, cannot carry the mere skin of its tail. {and its head in fisherman's boats}. But you will lay a hand on it, though you remember the battle that is waging in its body, and let it happen no more! . . . Who will uncover the front of what it is wearing? And who could enter the plate of its cuirass? Who will open the gates of its face? Fear is all around its teeth. Its inwards are bronze shields. . . . Light shines forth at its sneezing and its eyes have the look of the morning star. From its mouth proceed flaming torches, and fiery braziers are being cast forth. From its nostrils smoke of a furnace burning with the fire of coals. Its soul is coals, and a flame proceeds from its mouth. . . . Its heart is solid like stone, and it stands like an unyielding anvil. . . . It makes the deep boil like a caldron and regards the sea as a pot of ointment and Tartarus of the deep as a captive. . . . There is nothing else on earth like it, made to be mocked at by my angels. Everything high it sees, and it is king over all that are in the waters.

The basic idea remains in modern translations, but there is some evidence that the Masoretic text (which the NWT is based upon) has often cleaned up what was thought to be embarrassing to medieval rabbis in the intervening centuries. The references to "Tartarus" [see Greek mythology] are curious, especially due to 2 Peter 2:4. But the additional references to Leviathan in the Hebrew Scriptures are just as striking.

 

 

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26 minutes ago, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

Sure sounds like Dragons to me.... (?)

Me, too. We all know that the Bible refers to "beasts" and "dragons" in the apocalyptic books such as Daniel and Revelation, but I guess we just didn't want them mentioned as if they were "real" in the book of Job.

The Librarian pointed out that someone had asked me a question about Enoch (non-canonical apocalyptic book), where Leviathan and Behemoth are mentioned together in a very curious way. To answer that question, I thought it was a good idea to set up the background comparing what we have believed about Behemoth and Leviathan compared to what some of the Bible-believers in Bible times believed about them.

 

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Evidently Moses had a vivid and dramatic imagination and let lose when writing the book of Job.

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1 hour ago, JW Insider said:

Do crocodiles snort out fire and sparks from their nostrils? Do their eyes shine brightly? Does lightning go out of its mouth? is it like a furnace inside, so that it's very breath sends a flame that can set coals ablaze?

They do and it does if one's about to clamp its mouth around your torso.

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Here's the curious way that

    Hello guest!
refers to both of them:

7. And on that day were two monsters parted, a female monster named Leviathan, to dwell in the abysses of the ocean over the fountains of the waters. 8. But the male is named Behemoth, who occupied with his breast a waste wilderness named †Dûidâin†, on the east of the garden where the elect and righteous dwell, where my grandfather was taken up, the seventh from Adam, the first man whom the Lord of Spirits created. 9. And I besought the other angel that he should show me the might of those monsters, how they were parted on one day and cast, the one into the abysses of the sea, and the other unto the dry land of the wilderness.

One question that came up was why Behemoth is male and Leviathan is female. Why would such a detail be important?

Enoch doesn't say much about them, but does mention Tartarus and Chaos, which might become important to the overall discussion. When Enoch mentions the 7 archangels in chapter 20, he mentions that

CHAPTER XX. 1. And these are the names of the holy angels who watch. 2. Uriel, one of the holy angels, who is over the world and over Tartarus. 3. Raphael, one of the holy angels, who is over the spirits of men. 4. Raguel, one of the holy angels who †takes vengeance on† the world of the luminaries. 5. Michael, one of the holy angels, to wit, he that is set over the best part of mankind ⌈⌈and⌉⌉ over chaos. 6. Saraqâêl, one of the holy angels, who is set over the spirits, who sin in the spirit. 7. Gabriel, one of the holy angels, who is over Paradise and the serpents and the Cherubim. 8. Remiel, one of the holy angels, whom God set over those who rise.

This is mentioned because if either Leviathan the Dragon, or Behemoth the Beast is tied to Chaos, we might expect Michael to be the archangel to fight him. If Tartarus it might be the archangel of Light [Uriel/Oriel=God is Light]. Recall that the Septuagint included the idea that these were created to be "mocked" by the angels. I believe that Bible verses create a link between the ideas of the words "mocked" and "taunted." Jewish ideas gave the killing of Leviathan first to Gabriel, however, the archangel over the serpents.

Just to start the response to the reason they are given different genders here, I can quote some of the other extra-Biblical works and traditions carried in Jewish literature. Here is a summary from the Jewish Encyclopedia:

LEVIATHAN AND BEHEMOTH:

Names of gigantic beasts or monsters described in Job xl. The former is from a root denoting "coil," "twist"; the latter is the plural form of "behemah"="beast."

Ever since Bochart ("Hierozoicon," iii. 705), "behemoth" has been taken to denote the hippopotamus; and Jablonski, to make it correspond exactly with that animal, compared an Egyptian form, "p-ehe-mu" (= "water-ox"), which, however, does not exist. The Biblical description contains mythical elements, and the conclusion is justified that these monsters were not real, though the hippopotamus may have furnished in the main the data for the description. Only of a unique being, and not of a common hippopotamus, could the words of Job xl. 19 have been used: "He is the first [A. V. "chief"] of the ways of God [comp. Prov. viii. 22]; he that made him maketh sport with him" (as the Septuagint reads, πεποιημένον ἐγκαταπαιζέσΘαι; A. V. "He that made him can make his sword to approach unto him"; comp. Ps. civ. 26); or "The mountains bring him forth food; where all the beasts of the field do play" (Job xl. 20). Obviously behemoth is represented as the primeval beast, the king of all the animals of the dry land, while leviathan is the king of all those of the water, both alike unconquerable by man (ib. xl. 14, xli. 17-26). Gunkel ("Schöpfung und Chaos," p. 62) suggests that behemoth and leviathan were the two primeval monsters corresponding to Tiamat (= "the abyss"; comp. Hebr. "tehom") and Kingu (= Aramaic "'akna" = serpent") of Babylonian mythology. . . .

—In Rabbinical Literature:

According to a midrash, the leviathan was created on the fifth day (Yalḳ., Gen. 12). Originally God produced a male and a female leviathan, but lest in multiplying the species should destroy the world, He slew the female, reserving her flesh for the banquet that will be given to the righteous on the advent of the Messiah (B. B. 74a). The enormous size of the leviathan is thus illustrated by R. Johanan, from whom proceeded nearly all the haggadot concerning this monster: "Once we went in a ship and saw a fish which put his head out of the water. He had horns upon which was written: 'I am one of the meanest creatures that inhabit the sea. I am three hundred miles in length, and enter this day into the jaws of the leviathan'" (B. B. l.c.). When the leviathan is hungry, reports R. Dimi in the name of R. Johanan, he sends forth from his mouth a heat so great as to make all the waters of the deep boil, and if he would put his head into paradise no living creature could endure the odor of him (ib.). His abode is the Mediterranean Sea; and the waters of the Jordan fall into his mouth (Bek. 55b; B. B. l.c.).

The body of the leviathan, especially his eyes, possesses great illuminating power. This was the opinion of R. Eliezer, who, in the course of a voyage in company with R. Joshua, explained to the latter, when frightened by the sudden appearance of a brilliant light, that it probably proceeded from the eyes of the leviathan. He referred his companion to the words of Job xli. 18: "By his neesings a light doth shine, and his eyes are like the eyelids of the morning" (B. B. l.c.). . . .

In the Messianic Times.

The leviathan is prominent in the haggadic literature in connection with the advent of the Messiah. Referring to Job xl. 30 (Hebr.), "and the pious ones [V08p038002.jpg] shall make a banquet of it," R. Johanan says that at the time of the resurrection a banquet will be given by God to the righteous, at which the flesh of the leviathan will be served (B. B. l.c.). . . .  Gabriel will be charged with the killing of the monster; but he will not be able to accomplish his task without the help of God, who will divide the monster with His sword. . . .  Not only will the flesh of the leviathan furnish food for the table of the righteous, but there will be a great supply of it in the markets of Jerusalem (B. B. l.c.). From the hide of the leviathan God will make tents for the pious of the first rank, girdles for those of the second, chains for those of the third, and necklaces for those of the fourth. The remainder of the hide will be spread on the walls of Jerusalem; and the whole world will be illuminated by its brightness (ib.).

Symbolical Interpretation.

These haggadot concerning the leviathan are interpreted as allegories by all the commentators with the exception of some ultraconservatives like Baḥya ben Asher ("Shulḥan Arba'," ch. iv., p. 9, col. 3). According to Maimonides, the banquet is an allusion to the spiritual enjoyment of the intellect (commentary on Sanh. i.). The name, he says, is derived from V08p038003.jpg (" to join," "to unite"), and designates an imaginary monster in which are combined the most various animals ("Moreh," iii., ch. xxiii.). In the cabalistic literature the "piercing leviathan" and the "crooked leviathan" (Isa. xxvii. 1), upon which the haggadah concerning the hunting of the animal is based, are interpreted as referring to Satan-Samael and his spouse Lilith ("'Emeḳ ha-Melek," p. 130a), while Ḳimḥi, Abravanel, and others consider the expressions to be allusions to the destruction of the powers which are hostile to the Jews (comp. Manasseh ben Israel, "Nishmat Ḥayyim," p. 48; see also Kohut, "Aruch Completum," s. v. "Leviathan," for other references, and his essay in "Z. D. M. G." vol. xxi., p. 590, for the parallels in Persian literature). The haggadic sayings obtained a hold on the imagination of the poets, who introduced allusions to the banquet of the leviathan into the liturgy.

—In Apocryphal Literature:

Both leviathan and behemoth are prominent in Jewish eschatology. In the Book of Enoch (lx. 7-9), Enoch says:

. . . [already quoted above]

According to II Esdras vi. 49-53, God created on the fifth day the two great monsters, leviathan and behemoth, and He separated them because the seventh part of the world which was assigned to the water could not hold them together, and He gave to the behemoth that part which was dried up on the third day and had the thousand mountains which, according to Ps. i. 10, as understood by the haggadists ("the behemoth [A. V. "cattle"] upon a thousand hills"; comp. Lev. R. xxii.; Num. R. xxi.; and Job xl. 20), furnish behemoth with the necessary food. To the leviathan God gave the seventh part of the earth filled with water; and He reserved it for the future to reveal by whom and at what time the leviathan and the behemoth should be eaten.

In the Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch, xxix. 4, also, the time is predicted when the behemoth will come forth from his seclusion on land and the leviathan out of the sea, and the two gigantic monsters, created on the fifth day, will serve as food for the elect who will survive in the days of the Messiah.

. . .
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The NWT Glossary says the following about Leviathan:

*** nwtstg Leviathan ***
An animal usually associated with water, apparently some form of aquatic creature. At Job 3:8 and 41:1, it seems to refer to the crocodile or some other aquatic creature of great proportions and strength. At Psalm 104:26, it may be some type of whale. Elsewhere it is used figuratively and is not identifiable with any one animal.—Ps 74:14; Isa 27:1.

So with words like "apparently" and "seems to refer" the Watchtower publications no longer tie the word to a specific real creature, although the crocodile (or perhaps a type of whale) is still preferred in the sense that it is the only real animal we know of that comes anywhere close to the description.

The Glossary also shows that two important uses (Psalms and Isaiah) are symbolic anyway.

(Psalm 104:25, 26) 25 There is the sea, so great and wide, Teeming with countless living things, both small and great. 26 There the ships travel, And Le·viʹa·than, which you formed to play in it.

This is the reference that the Glossary considers be a whale, since it is far out to sea -- not a place where crocodiles go. A careful reading of Job 41, however, also indicated the depths of the sea in the description of Job's Leviathan.

Psalm 74:14 is quoted here with more context, so that the symbolism is clearer. The symbolism would remind the Jewish readers (and psalm-singers) about Pharoah in Egypt and Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon, because both were major "taunters." In context, the main theme seems to be that the Temple had just been burned, and Jehovah seems to have abandoned them, yet they knew Jehovah's power, the same power that could kill a Leviathan. As the book of Job had said, Jehovah had made it and only its Maker could kill it.

(Psalm 74:1-23) 74 Why, O God, have you rejected us forever? Why does your anger burn against the flock of your pasture?  . . . Remember Mount Zion, where you have resided.  3 Direct your steps to the perpetual ruins. The enemy has devastated everything in the holy place.  4 Your foes roared inside your meeting place. They have set up their own banners as signs there.  5 They were like men wielding axes against a thick forest.  6 They broke up all its engravings with axes and iron bars.  7 They set your sanctuary on fire. They profaned the tabernacle bearing your name, casting it to the ground.  8 They and their offspring have said in their hearts: “All the meeting places of God in the land must be burned.”  9 There are no signs for us to see; There is no longer any prophet, And no one among us knows how long this will last. 10 How long, O God, will the adversary keep taunting? Will the enemy treat your name with disrespect forever? 11 Why do you hold back your hand, your right hand? Draw it out of your bosom and put an end to them. 12 But God is my King from long ago, The one performing acts of salvation on the earth. 13 You stirred up the sea with your strength; You smashed the heads of the sea monsters in the waters. 14 You crushed the heads of Le·viʹa·than; You gave it as food to the people, to those inhabiting the deserts. . . .18 Remember the enemy’s taunts, O Jehovah, How a foolish people treats your name with disrespect. 19 Do not surrender the life of your turtledove to the wild beasts. Do not forget the life of your afflicted people forever. 20 Remember the covenant, For the dark places of the earth have become full of the haunts of violence. . . . Remember how the foolish taunt you all day long. 23 Do not forget what your foes are saying. The uproar of those who defy you is ascending constantly.

Several things I thought were notable here, not the least of which is the fact that Leviathan has multiple heads in verse 14. Leviathan therefore represents "the taunting adversary." The "wild beasts" in verse 19 wish to swallow up the afflicted people, but the prayer is that Jehovah remember his covenant, and take note that the "taunting" is against his name.

A quick aside: The taunt-song motif, by the way, is known in ancient psalms and poetry. Isaiah 14 is a good example. The idea was also used in one of our old Kingdom Songs. Note the song titled:

    Hello guest!
as Song 75 in the linked songbook that we used from 1950 to 1966. It's a song we rarely sang. The year before I got baptized we got a new songbook, so I barely remember it.

In Isaiah we have a similar reminder that Jehovah could strike the heads of Leviathan (without mentioning Leviathan) so that the Assyrians would have to let the Israelites go back home, just as Jehovah had struck at them when Pharoah trapped them at the Red Sea.

(Isaiah 11:15, 16) 15 And Jehovah will certainly cut off the tongue of the Egyptian sea, and wave his hand at the River [Euphrates, NWT fn]  in the glow of his spirit. And he must strike it in [its] seven torrents, and he will actually cause people to walk in [their] sandals. 16 And there must come to be a highway out of As·syrʹi·a for the remnant of his people who will remain over, just as there came to be [one] for Israel in the day of his coming up out of the land of Egypt.

Note how this same idea is carried forward in Isaiah chapter 27 to a time of full restitution:

(Isaiah 27:1-8) 27 In that day Jehovah, with his harsh and great and strong sword, Will turn his attention to Le·viʹa·than, the gliding serpent, To Le·viʹa·than, the twisting serpent, And he will kill the monster that is in the sea.  . . .  4 There is no wrath in me. Who will confront me with thornbushes and weeds in the battle? I will trample them and set them on fire all together.  . . .  8 With a startling cry you will contend with her when sending her away. He will expel her with his fierce blast in the day of the east wind.

I'm guessing that there might even be a connection between these multiple "heads of Leviathan" and the idea that the dragon and beast of Revelation has 7 heads.

(Revelation 12:3, 4) 3 Another sign was seen in heaven. Look! A great fiery-colored dragon, with seven heads and ten horns and on its heads seven diadems;

(Revelation 13:1, 2) . . .And I saw a wild beast ascending out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, and on its horns ten diadems, but on its heads blasphemous names. 2 Now the wild beast that I saw was like a leopard, but its feet were like those of a bear, and its mouth was like a lion’s mouth. And the dragon gave to the beast its power and its throne and great authority.

The tie-in to a taunting Adversary is the same as in Psalms and the similar idea in Isaiah. Traditionally, even the old pre-Biblical fables about a "Leviathan" also showed a beast with 7 heads. The similarly described Greek "Hydra" was often shown with 7 heads. This made it a useful symbol of the power of the beastly world powers (who get their power from Satan the Adversary) and which could only be broken at a time when Jehovah sees fit for these powers to be broken.

Note:

    Hello guest!

The picture is of the god "Baal" killing the 7 headed "Leviathan" or its near equivalent, dated to older than 2200 BCE. (4,200 years old!)

 

 

leviathan.png

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In 1948 the Biblical Archaeologist journal had an article that ran about 20 years after the discovery of some related Canaanite Ugaritic texts, that purportedly shed some light on the background of the Leviathan:

Howard Wallace wrote the article in The Biblical Archaeologist, Vol. 11, No. 3 (Sep., 1948), pp. 61-68. I found the following on page 62 and 63:

Be that as it may, there is no question but that the most famous monster of western civilization is the Biblical Leviathan, whose immediate background is to be sought, not in Babylonian, but in Canaanite mythology. The Ras Shamra texts, found in Syria at the ancient site of Ugarit nearly twenty years ago, record Canaanite myths of the period from 1700 to 1400 B.C. A section of one text tells of the fight of Anath and the dragon. At one point Anath shouts:

  • "I have destroyed the Sea-Dragon, beloved of El,

  • I have slain River of El, the Chief;

  • I muzzled Tannin, I muzzled him (?).

  • I have destroyed the winding serpent,

  • Shalyat of the seven heads

  • I have destroyed the underworld dragon, beloved of El."

In another of the texts ("Baal and the Waters"), we learn of the seven-headed Lotan, the very name from which the word "Leviathan" in the Old Testament is derived. A comparison of the vocabulary of Isaiah 27:1 and three lines from the Ugaritic epic, "The Death of Baal," shows the direct borrowing of the Hebrew from the Canaanite. Two words which describe Lotan and Leviathan are identical in the two languages. They are brh, usually translated "swift" or "gliding," and 'qltn, usually translated "crooked" or "tortuous." [twisted]

I also found these points interesting from page 65:

It must be noted that several Old Testament words are basically related to Leviathan. One is tehom, a word designating primeval chaos. While it is not personified, it is mentioned in Job 41:31,32 as being the dwelling place of Leviathan. (See also Job 28:14; Pro. 3:20; 8:24; Psa. 42:7; 71:20.) Yam, "sea," is more than a mere body of water in many passages; it is an active force, probably reflecting the old myth of the struggle between order and chaos. One of the most interesting of these passages is Job 7:12: "Am I a sea, or a sea-monster, That thou settest a watch over me?" In Ugaritic epics, Baal fights against Zebul-Yam, Prince Sea. The waters or sea rebel against the ruling power in Canaanite mythology, and therefore must be watched by the main god. Leviathan dwells in the sea. Rahab, a sea monster, can be equated with Leviathan in several O. T. passages (Job 9:13; 26:12; Isa. 51:9; Psa. 89:10). Tannin can mean a similar sea monster (as in Psa. 74:13), though having other translations.

Before getting to the next section of the article, I'll quote and highlight some relevant portions of Rev 12 & 13 from the NWT:

(Revelation 12:3-13:4) 3 Another sign was seen in heaven. Look! A great fiery-colored dragon, with seven heads and ten horns and on its heads seven diadems; . . . 6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, . . . 7 And war broke out in heaven: Miʹcha·el and his angels battled with the dragon, and the dragon and its angels battled 8 but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them any longer in heaven. 9 So down the great dragon was hurled, the original serpent, the one called Devil and Satan, . . . “Now . . .  the accuser of our brothers has been hurled down, who accuses them day and night before our God! . . . 12 On this account be glad, you heavens and you who reside in them! Woe for the earth and for the sea, . . . 14 But the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, so that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is to be fed for a time and times and half a time away from the face of the serpent. 15 And the serpent spewed out water like a river from its mouth after the woman, to cause her to be drowned by the river. 16 But the earth came to the woman’s help, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the river that the dragon spewed out from its mouth. . . . 13 And it stood still on the sand of the sea. And I saw a wild beast ascending out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, and on its horns ten diadems, but on its heads blasphemous names. . . . 3 I saw that one of its heads seemed to have been fatally wounded, but its mortal wound had been healed, and all the earth followed the wild beast with admiration. 4 And they worshipped the dragon because it gave the authority to the wild beast, and they worshipped the wild beast with the words: “Who is like the wild beast, [Michael="who is like El?"] and who can do battle with it?”

Not sure if any of these other points from the article are very useful, but they might be interesting so I'll include them anyway from page 67-68, with some portions highlighted.

In Rev. 12:3, the "great red dragon, with seven heads, and ten horns, and seven diadems upon his head" is mentioned. Drakon, "dragon," is the usual Septuagint rendering of Leviathan. Only once is Leviathan translated ketos, "sea-monster" (Job 3:8). From Rev. 13:1 on, the beast and the dragon are used interchangeably, as are Leviathan and Rahab and Tannin in the O.T. It may also be noted that abyssos is the Septuagint rendering of tehom, the watery deep. However, by New Testament times, it had become a bottomless pit full of fire and smoke.

In the description of the war in heaven between the dragon and Michael and his angels (Rev. 12:7-12), verse 9 is especially interesting. . . . The war in heaven is an echo of the war in which Tiamat and her hordes were defeated by Marduk and the gods in the Babylonian Creation Story, and in which Baal of Canaanite lore fought against the rebellious waters. Yahweh destroyed Leviathan in the dim past. . . . The primeval struggle between Yahweh and the powers of chaos is transformed in the Christian context into a struggle between God and Satan. Though the heathen powers, and Rome especially, rage as they will, God will triumph over them in the end.

In Chapter 13, two beasts appear. "And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns, . . . Both descriptions seem to be based on Dan. 7:2 ff., and upon the idea that Leviathan has seven heads. Verse 11 reads: "Then I saw another beast which rose out of the earth;. . . "

The beast from the earth and the beast from the sea appear very much like Behemoth and Leviathan in Job, chs. 40, 41. II Esdras 6:49-53 indicates that Behemoth and Leviathan will both occupy portions of the world until Judgment Day. Leviathan, as has been stated, was specifically assigned the watery portions, and Behemoth the dry portions. Since both of these beasts play such an important part in Jewish Apocalyptic writings, the author of the Book of Revelation would turn to them in attempting to paint the vivid picture of the coming of the last days.

The last part of chapter 19 and the first part of chapter 20 picture the over-throw of the beast and his armies. "The dragon, that ancient serpent who is the Devil and Satan" in Rev. 20:2 is bound and thrown into the [abyss] bottomless pit. The abyssos and its relation to tehom is again indicative of the whole Leviathan strain, in which Leviathan is the representation of the restless forces of chaos, later to become the representation of evil. "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more (Rev. 21:1)." The turbulent waters, the sea, which had been in rebellion against the gods in Babylonian mythology, against Baal in Canaanite literature, and against Yahweh in the O. T., the sea was gone! This is a graphic symbol of the complete abolition of evil in the world.

The article doesn't mention it, but it was interesting that the early rabbinical sayings spoke of the taunting message written on Leviathan's horns. I don't think it's useful to draw more parallels between the ancient symbols used by Canaanites and Babylonias, but more could be drawn from literary evidence. There is another point, not made in this article, but I'm sure some commentators have made it, which draws parallels between Paul's words about the parousia in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-11, and the actions of the beastly powers mentioned in Revelation.

The more interesting parallels are between the book of Enoch and Revelation. Commentators argue over the idea that Enoch gets quoted verbatim in the book of Jude. But there are at least a dozen more times that ideas found directly in Enoch (and not found directly in the Hebrew Scriptures) are alluded to in the book of Revelation.

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It STILL sounds like Dragons, to me!

...by the way .... you know, of course, that the books of the Bible were compiled by CATHOLICS, primarily Esubius of Cesarea, and others ....

...perhaps they "forgot" to include the book of Enoch, (?) because they had no idea how to explain it to the unwashed masses.

...perhaps that's why we don't consider it part of the Bible, today. (?)

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On 5/12/2017 at 3:18 AM, JW Insider said:

Of course, part of the problem is that Witnesses, like many fundamentalist religions, too, do not want to see "fabulous" creatures in the Bible.

On 5/12/2017 at 6:21 AM, JW Insider said:

So with words like "apparently" and "seems to refer" the Watchtower publications no longer tie the word to a specific real creature,

Interesting back ground research here, particularly as it raises the fascinating question as to why the symbolic references to Satan and to political entities are couched in language that, regardless of intended symbolism, nevertheless appears to reflect commonly held mythical images. The curious use of the word "Tartarus" and the rich man and Lazarus parable being other prime examples of this (to me).

Unfortunately, one can only surmise on the connections, however fascinating the dredging up of detail, which is why the "language of inference", as exemplified in the words of the latter quote above, is the best that can be employed.

There is one thing plainly emphasised to me by this information.

Regardless of the speculative origins of the Leviathan or Behemoth as literal animals,  the"composite" beastial imagery in reference to political powers, even the association of a "dragon" with the real ruler of this world, the reality of what these symbolic references relate to, namely Satan's domination of mankind by means of political entities through history, is far more terrifying and dangerous to any who wish to serve Jehovah than any literal beast, imagined or otherwise.

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4 hours ago, Gone Fishing said:

The curious use of the word "Tartarus" and the rich man and Lazarus parable being other prime examples of this (to me).

I think at least a part of the explanation is that many literal readers of the Bible are unable to grasp the "poetry" and symbolism of the Bible. Poetry (often through lyrics) once captured the imagination of many readers and hearers of the Bible and almost every other story and history that was handed down from generation to generation. Poetry puts the mind of the hearer in a state that was ready to immediately see meaning in ideas that were not necessarily true in a literal way.

Jesus (and James) more often taught with the symbolism of rural life. (i.e., sheep, goats, farms, fields, grain, harvest, weeds, trees, fruit, rain, sun, rocks.) Paul more often used the symbols of urban, city life, and rarely used the pastoral symbols Jesus used. These symbols seem so natural to their methods of teaching.

There was also the ability to use symbols from Jewish (or even Greek/Roman) literature and folklore that was not necessarily true in a total literal sense but which added depth and meaning to the Christian teachings. Satan as a dragon was one of these. Ideas about the Greek Tartarus, and perhaps even the Greek Hades, on occasion, could make a point through analogy. Reference to books like Enoch, The Assumption of Moses, "Jannes and Jambres," etc.,  would more easily adapt to the poetic mind than the literalist, fundamentalist mind. Perhaps this applies:

  • (1 Corinthians 2:14-16) 14 But a physical man does not accept the things of the spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot get to know them, because they are examined spiritually. 15 However, the spiritual man examines all things, but he himself is not examined by any man. 16 For “who has come to know the mind of Jehovah, so that he may instruct him?” But we do have the mind of Christ.

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I watched Jack Ryan's supplied Youtube video and the best... the very BEST part ... was when the video narrator was concluding everything and made the statement ... "This is just food for thought".

It is unusually refreshing to hear such intellectual honesty.

I wish we would say something like that when we come up with explanations of everything about everything, instead of always being 100% WRONG all the time, about ALMOST everything... but if you refuse to believe it, your family is taken away from you as hostages.

 

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      *** w04 1/15 p. 17 pars. 10-11 Jehovah Is Great in Loyal Love ***
      10 Of course, some human rulers are sincerely concerned about the welfare of their subjects. But even the most noble among them do not know their subjects intimately. Indeed, we may ask: Is there any ruler who cares for all his subjects so much that he quickly comes to the aid of each one in times of trouble? Yes, there is. David wrote: “Jehovah is giving support to all who are falling, and is raising up all who are bowed down.”—Psalm 145:14.
      11 Many trials and calamities befall Jehovah God’s loyal ones because of their own imperfection and because they live in a world that is lying in the power of Satan, “the wicked one.” (1 John 5:19; Psalm 34:19) Christians experience persecution. Some suffer from chronic illness or because of bereavement. At times, the mistakes of Jehovah’s loyal ones may cause them to ‘bow down’ in discouragement. Whatever trial befalls them, however, Jehovah is always ready to give comfort and spiritual strength to each one of them. The King Jesus Christ has the same loving interest in his loyal subjects.—Psalm 72:12-14.
      (Psalm 145:6) And they will talk about the strength of your own fear-inspiring things; And as for your greatness, I will declare it.
      *** w90 9/15 p. 12 par. 8 Jehovah Deserves Eternal Praise ***
      8 So much can be said in praise of our unsearchably great God that David was moved to say: “Generation after generation will commend your works, and about your mighty acts they will tell.” (Psalm 145:4) Successive generations of mankind have commended Jehovah’s works and recounted his mighty acts. What a privilege it is to relate these things to those with whom we conduct home Bible studies! For example, we can tell them that God created all things. (Genesis 1:1–2:25; Revelation 4:11) We can speak about his mighty acts at the time he delivered the Israelites from Egyptian bondage, helped them to vanquish Canaanite foes, preserved them from genocide in ancient Persia, and much more. (Exodus 13:8-10; Judges 4:15; Esther 9:15-17) And are we not moved to tell our children about Jehovah’s works and acts? If we give our offspring such instruction and they see us joyously serving God, they are likely to view worship of him as a delight and to grow up with ‘the joy of Jehovah as their stronghold.’ (Nehemiah 8:10; Psalm 78:1-4) The anointed remnant constitute one joyful “generation” of Jehovah’s Witnesses that commends God’s works to the “great crowd,” part of the generation that will inhabit the Paradise earth.—Revelation 7:9.
      11 When we speak about God’s dignity and works, we prompt others to talk about them. Said David: “And they will talk about the strength of your own fear-inspiring things; and as for your greatness, I will declare it.” (Psalm 145:6) Rahab spoke of the fright that fell upon Jericho’s residents when they heard how Jehovah had rescued the Israelites at the Red Sea and made them victorious over two Amorite kings. There must have been much talk about such “fear-inspiring things” in Jericho. (Joshua 2:9-11) And surely the imminent “great tribulation” will be fear-inspiring. (Matthew 24:21) But things so frightening to people alienated from God inspire within righteous hearts “the fear of Jehovah,” a wholesome awe of him. (Proverbs 1:7) With such a reverential spirit, Jehovah’s Witnesses talk about manifestations of God’s power. Why, the great Wonder-Worker is the main subject of conversation between the anointed and their earthly companions! And even persecution does not prevent them from telling others about these things and the “greatness” of Jehovah.—Acts 4:18-31; 5:29.
      (Psalm 145:14) Jehovah is giving support to all who are falling, And is raising up all who are bowed down.
      *** w80 12/15 pp. 18-19 par. 5 Are You a Loyal Proclaimer of God’s Kingship? ***
      5 Under the alphabetic letter samekh, the 15th letter in the Hebrew alphabet, Psalm 145:14 goes on to say:
      “Jehovah is giving support to all who are falling, and is raising up all who are bowed down.”
      Those who loyally worship Jehovah and proclaim his kingship often meet up with opposition and difficulties because of their loyalty to Jehovah. (Gen. 3:15) But evidence from the past shows how Jehovah, true to his promises, gave support and help to those who were his worshipers and raised them up when they were under oppression. (Gen. chap. 15; see also many examples in the book of Judges.) In this 20th century down to the end of 1980 we have seen how Jehovah delivered the anointed remnant and the “other sheep” from Babylonish oppression. There was great pressure upon the anointed remnant during World War I. But Jehovah raised them up by his spirit and word of truth. Shortly thereafter, at their 1922 convention in Cedar Point, Ohio, they loyally determined to advertise the King and Kingdom. Jehovah has been guiding them since then, so that his name and kingdom have become known worldwide.
      (Psalm 145:18-20) Jehovah is near to all those calling upon him, To all those who call upon him in trueness. 19 The desire of those fearing him he will perform, And their cry for help he will hear, and he will save them. 20 Jehovah is guarding all those loving him, But all the wicked ones he will annihilate.
      *** w04 1/15 pp. 19-20 pars. 19-21 Jehovah Is Great in Loyal Love ***
      19 A crucial stage in settling the issue of Jehovah’s sovereignty is drawing near. As foretold in Ezekiel chapter 38, Satan will soon complete his role as “Gog of the land of Magog.” This will involve a worldwide attack on Jehovah’s people. It will be an all-out attempt on the part of Satan to break the integrity of God’s loyal ones. As never before, worshipers of Jehovah will need to call upon him earnestly, even crying for help. Will their reverential fear of God and love for him prove to be in vain? No, indeed, for Psalm 145 says: “Jehovah is near to all those calling upon him, to all those who call upon him in trueness. The desire of those fearing him he will perform, and their cry for help he will hear, and he will save them. Jehovah is guarding all those loving him, but all the wicked ones he will annihilate.”—Psalm 145:18-20.
      20 How thrilling it will be to experience Jehovah’s nearness and his saving power when he annihilates all the wicked! At that crucial time now so near, Jehovah will listen only to “those who call upon him in trueness.” He certainly will not listen to hypocrites. God’s Word clearly shows that any last-minute use of his name by the wicked has always proved to be in vain.—Proverbs 1:28, 29; Micah 3:4; Luke 13:24, 25.
      21 Now more than ever before is the time for those who fear Jehovah to “call upon him in trueness.” His loyal ones delight to use his name in their prayers and in the comments they make at their meetings. They use the divine name in private conversations. And they courageously declare Jehovah’s name in their public ministry.—Romans 10:10, 13-15.
      *** w90 9/15 pp. 19-20 Bless Jehovah’s Holy Name! ***
      Jehovah Guards Those Loving Him
      14 Our foolishness may ‘distort our way’ and bring hardships upon us, but never should we blame God for these difficulties. (Proverbs 19:3) David shows why when he says:“Jehovah is righteous in all his ways and loyal in all his works.” (Psalm 145:17) God always acts in an upright, just, and merciful way. Especially is his mercy evident in his provision for salvation through Jesus’ ransom sacrifice. (Acts 2:21; 4:8-12) Jehovah is also “loyal in all his works,” always faithful, loving, and impartial. As “imitators of God,” then, let us be upright, just, merciful, impartial, and loyal.—Ephesians 5:1, 2; Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalm 7:10; 25:8; Isaiah 49:7; Acts 10:34, 35.
      15 Since God is righteous and loyal, we are drawn to him. Moreover, David assures us: “Jehovah is near to all those calling upon him, to all those who call upon him in trueness.” (Psalm 145:18) In getting baptized as dedicated believers, we called on the name of Jehovah. (Acts 8:12; 18:8; Romans 10:10-15) Since we thus drew close to God, he draws near to us. (James 4:8) We “call upon him in trueness” because we do so in the true way, through Jesus Christ. And Jehovah will remain near if we worship him “with spirit and truth,” exhibit “faith without hypocrisy,” and ‘continue steadfast as seeing the One who is invisible.’ (John 4:23, 24; 1 Timothy 1:5; Hebrews 11:27) Then we will not pray in vain or have to face Satan’s world alone, but we will continue to enjoy divine help and guidance. (Psalm 65:2; 1 John 5:19) What security that means!
      16 We have true security, too, because of other things Jehovah does in our behalf. Said David:“The desire of those fearing him he will perform, and their cry for help he will hear, and he will save them.” (Psalm 145:19) Jehovah ‘performs our desire’ because we have deep reverence for God and a wholesome fear of displeasing him. (Proverbs 1:7) Our obedient heart has moved us to make a dedication to Jehovah, and our attitude is, “Let your will take place.” Since it is his will that we declare the Kingdom message, he fulfills our desire to do that work. (Matthew 6:10; Mark 13:10) God ‘performs our desire’ because we do not pray selfishly but ask for things in harmony with his will. He grants what is in accord with his will and is for our good.—1 John 3:21, 22; 5:14, 15; compare Matthew 26:36-44.
      17 As Jehovah’s loyal Witnesses, we may also be sure that our “cry for help” will never fall on deaf ears. God delivered David from calamity and saved Jesus, even resurrecting him from the dead. Under enemy assault, especially during Gog’s attack, we may be sure that Jehovah will deliver us. (Ezekiel 38:1–39:16) In fact, during any time of trouble, like David we can confidently pray: “Show me favor, O Jehovah, for I am in sore straits. . . . I have heard the bad report by many, fright being on all sides. When they mass together as one against me, it is to take away my soul that they do scheme. But I—in you I have put my trust, O Jehovah. I have said: ‘You are my God.’”—Psalm 31:9-14.
      18 Jehovah God is always ready to help us. As David says: “Jehovah is guarding all those loving him, but all the wicked ones he will annihilate.” (Psalm 145:20) Yes, if we love God, he will bless and keep us. (Numbers 6:24-26) He ‘rewards the haughty exceedingly’ but safeguards his humble servants, letting nothing happen that will do them permanent injury. Since Jehovah is with us, let us be courageous. (Psalm 31:20-24; Acts 11:19-21) ‘No weapon formed against us will succeed.’ (Isaiah 54:17; Psalm 9:17; 11:4-7) That is the experience of those who prove their love for God as his faithful dedicated servants. As a group, Jehovah’s Witnesses will safely pass through “the great tribulation” brought upon the wicked. (Revelation 7:14) And what a blessing the settling of the great issue of Jehovah’s universal kingship will be to “all those loving him”!
      (Psalm 145:8-11) Jehovah is gracious and merciful, Slow to anger and great in loving-kindness.  9 Jehovah is good to all, And his mercies are over all his works. 10 All your works will laud you, O Jehovah, And your loyal ones will bless you. 11 About the glory of your kingship they will talk, And about your mightiness they will speak,
      *** w90 9/15 pp. 14-15 pars. 14-20 Jehovah Deserves Eternal Praise ***
      14 Citing additional praiseworthy qualities of God, David said: “Jehovah is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and great in loving-kindness.” (Psalm 145:8) God is gracious in that he is wholly good and generous. (Matthew 19:17; James 1:5) He does good things even for those not serving him. (Acts 14:14-17) Jehovah is also merciful, compassionate, “remembering that we are dust.” He does not despise a crushed heart or deal with us according to our sins but is far more merciful than the most loving human father. (Psalm 51:17; 103:10-14) Why, in the greatest display of mercy, he sent his beloved Son to die for us so that we might be reconciled to God and really taste of his graciousness!—Romans 5:6-11.
      15 Our heavenly Father is slow to anger. He does not unleash blind rage. Jehovah is also “great in loving-kindness.” Here the Hebrew denotes kindness that stems from love and attaches itself to an object. It does so until its purpose with regard to that object is realized. An alternate rendering is “loyal love.” Among other things, God’s loving-kindness, or loyal love, is displayed in acts of deliverance, preservation, protection, relief from troubles, and recovery from sin through the ransom. (Psalm 6:4; 25:7; 31:16, 21; 40:11; 61:7; 119:88, 159; 143:12; John 3:16) The fact that Jehovah did not bring Armageddon right after the ‘war in heaven’ enables multitudes to gain salvation, a great expression of divine loving-kindness.—Revelation 12:7-12; 2 Peter 3:15.
      16 In view of God’s mercy, it might be said that he has a big heart. David declared: “Jehovah is good to all, and his mercies are over all his works.” (Psalm 145:9) Yes, God was good to the Israelites. For that matter, “he makes his sun rise upon wicked people and good and makes it rain upon righteous people and unrighteous.” (Matthew 5:43-45) In Eden, Jehovah promised a “seed” that would be a blessing. Later he told Abraham: “By means of your seed all nations of the earth will certainly bless themselves.” (Genesis 3:15; 22:18) And God’s goodness is so great in this “time of the end” that anyone can ‘come and take life’s water free.’ (Daniel 12:4; Revelation 22:17) Jehovah is willing to do good to all intelligent creatures, and his goodness should draw us ever closer to him.
      17 Jehovah’s “mercies are over all his works” in that he makes ample provision for humans and animals. He is “the One giving food to all flesh.” (Psalm 136:25; 147:9) God does not honor the rich and scorn the downtrodden, exalt the haughty and despise the humble, elevate the foolish and debase the wise. Sinful men do so but not our merciful heavenly Father. (Psalm 102:17; Zephaniah 3:11, 12; Ecclesiastes 10:5-7) And how great God’s mercy, goodness, and loving-kindness are in making salvation possible through the ransom sacrifice of his beloved Son!—1 John 4:9, 10.
      Loyal Ones Bless Jehovah
      18 God deserves praise from every quarter. As David put it: “All your works will laud you, O Jehovah, and your loyal ones will bless you.” (Psalm 145:10) God’s works of creation “laud” him, even as a well-built house is a credit to its builder and a lovely vase to its skillful potter. (Compare Hebrews 3:4; Isaiah 29:16; 64:8.) So wonderful are Jehovah’s creative works that they have moved angels and humans to praise him. Angelic sons of God joyously shouted in applause when he founded the earth. (Job 38:4-7) David said that ‘the heavens declare God’s glory and the expanse tells of the work of his hands.’ (Psalm 19:1-6) We may well laud Jehovah when we see a falcon soaring in the heavens or a gazelle bounding over a verdant hill. (Job 39:26; Song of Solomon 2:17) Praise is fitting when we harvest crops or enjoy a meal with friends. (Psalm 72:16; Proverbs 15:17) Our marvelously designed bodies may also prompt expressions of grateful praise to God.—Psalm 139:14-16.
      19 Today, Jehovah’s spirit-anointed “loyal ones” on earth bless him. They speak well of him and yearn to see his will done on earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:9, 10) As the anointed ones tell others about God’s wondrous works, the great crowd respond in ever-increasing numbers. Along with the anointed loyal ones, they serve zealously as Kingdom proclaimers. Is gratitude moving you to have a regular share in this work to God’s praise?
      20 As Jehovah’s Witnesses, we are like David in giving God praise. To us the sanctification of Jehovah’s holy name and the praising of it are matters of vital concern. Since the divine name will be sanctified by God’s Kingdom, this Bible teaching of the Kingdom is a prominent feature of the good news we declare. Does Psalm 145 provide spiritual enlightenment in this regard? What will our discussion of the rest of this psalm reveal? In what other ways does it prove that Jehovah deserves eternal praise?
      (Psalm 145:9) Jehovah is good to all, And his mercies are over all his works.
      *** w07 9/15 pp. 29-30 pars. 15-17 Practice Mercy—How? ***
      15 While the Bible book of James highlights mercy among believers, this does not mean that acts of mercy are limited to those within the Christian congregation. “Jehovah is good to all,” says Psalm 145:9, “and his mercies are over all his works.” We are exhorted to “become imitators of God” and to “work what is good toward all.” (Ephesians 5:1; Galatians 6:10) While we do not love “either the world or the things in the world,” we are not insensitive to the needs of those in the world.—1 John 2:15.
      16 As Christians, we do not hesitate to provide whatever help we can to victims of “unforeseen occurrence” or to those in dire situations. (Ecclesiastes 9:11) Of course, circumstances would dictate what we can do and how much. (Proverbs 3:27) When providing material help to others, we want to be careful that a deed that seems good does not promote laziness. (Proverbs 20:1, 4; 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12) Hence, a true act of mercy is a response that combines tender feelings of compassion or sympathy with sound reasoning.
      17 The finest way to show mercy to those outside the Christian congregation is to share Bible truth with them. Why? Because the majority of mankind today are groping about in spiritual darkness. Having no way to deal with problems that confront them nor any real hope for the future, most people are “skinned and thrown about like sheep without a shepherd.” (Matthew 9:36) The message of God’s Word can be ‘a lamp to their foot,’ helping them to deal with life’s problems. It can also be ‘a light to their roadway’ in that the Bible foretells God’s purpose for the future, giving them a basis for having a bright hope. (Psalm 119:105) What a privilege it is to carry the wonderful message of truth to those who are in dire need of it! In view of the nearness of the impending “great tribulation,” now is the time to have a zealous share in the Kingdom-preaching and disciple-making work. (Matthew 24:3-8, 21, 22, 36-41; 28:19, 20) No other act of mercy is as important.
      *** w90 9/15 p. 14 pars. 16-17 Jehovah Deserves Eternal Praise ***
      16 In view of God’s mercy, it might be said that he has a big heart. David declared: “Jehovah is good to all, and his mercies are over all his works.” (Psalm 145:9) Yes, God was good to the Israelites. For that matter, “he makes his sun rise upon wicked people and good and makes it rain upon righteous people and unrighteous.” (Matthew 5:43-45) In Eden, Jehovah promised a “seed” that would be a blessing. Later he told Abraham: “By means of your seed all nations of the earth will certainly bless themselves.” (Genesis 3:15; 22:18) And God’s goodness is so great in this “time of the end” that anyone can ‘come and take life’s water free.’ (Daniel 12:4; Revelation 22:17) Jehovah is willing to do good to all intelligent creatures, and his goodness should draw us ever closer to him.
      17 Jehovah’s “mercies are over all his works” in that he makes ample provision for humans and animals. He is “the One giving food to all flesh.” (Psalm 136:25; 147:9) God does not honor the rich and scorn the downtrodden, exalt the haughty and despise the humble, elevate the foolish and debase the wise. Sinful men do so but not our merciful heavenly Father. (Psalm 102:17; Zephaniah 3:11, 12; Ecclesiastes 10:5-7) And how great God’s mercy, goodness, and loving-kindness are in making salvation possible through the ransom sacrifice of his beloved Son!—1 John 4:9, 10.
      (Psalm 145:11-21) About the glory of your kingship they will talk, And about your mightiness they will speak, 12 To make known to the sons of men his mighty acts And the glory of the splendor of his kingship.13 Your kingship is a kingship for all times indefinite, And your dominion is throughout all successive generations. 14 Jehovah is giving support to all who are falling, And is raising up all who are bowed down. 15 To you the eyes of all look hopefully, And you are giving them their food in its season. 16 You are opening your hand And satisfying the desire of every living thing. 17 Jehovah is righteous in all his ways And loyal in all his works. 18 Jehovah is near to all those calling upon him, To all those who call upon him in trueness. 19 The desire of those fearing him he will perform, And their cry for help he will hear, and he will save them.20 Jehovah is guarding all those loving him, But all the wicked ones he will annihilate. 21 The praise of Jehovah my mouth will speak; And let all flesh bless his holy name to time indefinite, even forever.
      *** w04 1/15 p. 16 Jehovah Is Great in Loyal Love ***
      Identifying God’s Loyal Ones
      3 Regarding Jehovah God, the prophet Samuel’s mother, Hannah, said: “The feet of his loyal ones he guards.” (1 Samuel 2:9) Who are such “loyal ones”? King David supplies the answer. After extolling Jehovah’s marvelous qualities, he states: “Your loyal ones will bless you.” (Psalm 145:10) You may wonder how humans can bless God. They do so primarily by praising him or by speaking well of him.
      4 Jehovah’s loyal ones can be identified as those who use their mouths to speak well of him. In social settings and at Christian meetings, what is a common theme of their discussions? Why, it is Jehovah’s Kingdom! God’s loyal servants share the sentiments of David, who sang: “About the glory of your [Jehovah’s] kingship they will talk, and about your mightiness they will speak.”—Psalm 145:11.
      5 Does Jehovah take note when his loyal ones praise him? Yes, he pays attention to what they say. In a prophecy relating to true worship in our day, Malachi wrote: “At that time those in fear of Jehovah spoke with one another, each one with his companion, and Jehovah kept paying attention and listening. And a book of remembrance began to be written up before him for those in fear of Jehovah and for those thinking upon his name.” (Malachi 3:16) It pleases Jehovah very much when his loyal ones speak well of him, and he remembers them.
      6 Jehovah’s loyal servants can also be identified by their courage and initiative in speaking to people who are not worshipers of the true God. Indeed, God’s loyal ones “make known to the sons of men his mighty acts and the glory of the splendor of his kingship.” (Psalm 145:12) Do you seek and take full advantage of opportunities to speak to strangers about Jehovah’s kingship? Unlike human governments, which will soon pass away, his kingship is eternal. (1 Timothy 1:17) It is urgent that people learn about Jehovah’s everlasting kingship and take their stand as its supporters. “Your kingship is a kingship for all times indefinite,” sang David, “and your dominion is throughout all successive generations.”—Psalm 145:13.
      *** w02 12/15 p. 18 par. 19 “He Will Draw Close to You” ***
      19 Jehovah especially appreciates what we do in behalf of his Kingdom. When we draw close to Jehovah, it is only natural that we want to use our time, energy, and resources to share as fully as possible in the Kingdom-preaching and disciple-making work. (Matthew 28:19, 20) At times, we may feel that we are accomplishing little. Our imperfect heart might even cause us to wonder whether Jehovah is pleased with our efforts. (1 John 3:19, 20) But Jehovah treasures every gift—no matter how small—that springs from a heart motivated by love. (Mark 12:41-44) The Bible assures us: “God is not unrighteous so as to forget your work and the love you showed for his name.” (Hebrews 6:10) Indeed, Jehovah remembers and rewards even the smallest act of service rendered in support of his Kingdom. In addition to rich spiritual blessings now, we can look forward to the joys of life in the coming new world, where Jehovah will generously open his hand and satisfy the righteous desires of all who are close to him!—Psalm 145:16; 2 Peter 3:13.
      *** w74 6/1 pp. 338-339 pars. 18-19 Do You Have the Evangelizing Spirit? ***
      18 The evangelizing spirit is not measured in the amount of time devoted to preaching to others. It includes the effectiveness of one’s building up and training others. A person with whom you study may be grasping some of the fundamental doctrines, such as the truth of an earthly paradise, the fallacies of such doctrines as immortality of the human soul, hellfire of torment and the Trinity. He may get a good head knowledge about these things. He may be able to answer the questions in the study quite well. But you are not aiming principally at the head but at the heart. What, then, are the things you want to instill in his heart to make him a sound, mature Christian?—Heb. 6:1-3.
      19 You will want to check constantly and keep ever in mind the following vital points, and it is up to you to work hard to help the one you are studying with to see them: Is your student coming to knowJehovah, that is, does he understand why Jehovah is having the good news brought to him and to others? Does he understand why God has let wickedness continue for a time and why he does not act according to human desire, to wipe it out immediately? Does he see clearly the issue of Jehovah’s sovereignty, and the loving-kindness of God in allowing time to be taken in settling the issue? Does he see that the things that are happening in the earth hurt God much more than they hurt us? that God, though able to bring an end to bad things, restrains himself for mankind’s own benefit? (Compare Genesis 6:3, 5-7.) Does he discern that all the good qualities that we possess to some degree, God has to a far greater degree—love, appreciation, feeling, considerateness, mercy, patience? Does he view God as a close friend, as one willing to do whatever is good for him? He must come to know God as an Appreciator of those who serve him even in the smallest service that they render from the heart. He that pleases God must believe that he is the Rewarder of those who seek him. (Heb. 11:6) He is that kind of God. All those with the true evangelizing spirit know this to be true, and so they endeavor to instill this same desire in others to love and serve Him for his matchless qualities.—Ex. 34:6, 7; Ps. 145:8-21.
      *** w91 12/15 p. 14 pars. 3-4 Stay Close to Jehovah ***
      3 The disciple James wrote: “Draw close to God, and he will draw close to you.” (James 4:8) Yes, God is neither too lofty nor too far removed to hear our expressions to him, despite our imperfect human condition. (Acts 17:27) Furthermore, he is not indifferent and unconcerned. Says the psalmist: “The eyes of Jehovah are toward the righteous ones, and his ears are toward their cry for help.”—Psalm 34:15; 1 Peter 3:12.
      4 Jehovah invites prayer. We might compare this to a gathering where a number of people are together talking. You are there, listening to the others talk. Your role is that of an observer. But then someone turns to you, says your name, and directs his words to you. This arrests your attention in a special way. Similarly, God is always attentive to his people, wherever they may be. (2 Chronicles 16:9; Proverbs 15:3) So he hears our words, protectively and interestedly observing, as it were. When we call upon God’s name in prayer, however, his attention is arrested, and he is now focused on us in an explicit way. By his powers, Jehovah can even detect and comprehend man’s unvoiced petition offered within the hidden recesses of his heart and mind. God assures us that he will draw close to all those sincerely calling upon his name and seeking to stay close to him.—Psalm 145:18.
      (Psalm 146:3) Do not put YOUR trust in nobles, Nor in the son of earthling man, to whom no salvation belongs.
      (Psalm 146:5-6) Happy is the one who has the God of Jacob for his help, Whose hope is in Jehovah his God,  6 The Maker of heaven and earth, Of the sea, and of all that is in them, The One keeping trueness to time indefinite,
      *** w87 3/15 p. 25 Happy God, Happy People! ***
      ♦ Psalm 146:3—Why not put confidence in human leaders?
      Human leaders are mortal. They can save neither themselves nor those trusting in them. Thus, confidence in human leadership is undermined by the eventuality of death. But “happy is the one . . . whose hope is in Jehovah his God.” (Psalm 146:5, 6) The psalmist saw the need for guidance superior to what humans themselves can give.
      *** w80 2/15 p. 30 Insight on the News ***
      The record of human failure throughout the centuries illustrates the truth expressed in the Bible at Psalm 146:3: “Don’t put your trust in human leaders; no human being can save you.” (“Good News Bible”) The Holy Scriptures indicate that God will bring peace in his own way, by means of his heavenly kingdom under his “Prince of Peace,” Jesus Christ. (Isa. 9:6) Then, when God’s law is lovingly applied, “the meek ones themselves will possess the earth, and they will indeed find their exquisite delight in the abundance of peace.”—Ps. 37:11.
      *** g79 9/22 pp. 7-8 Can Our Earth Survive? ***
      The Bible counsels: “Don’t put your trust in human leaders; no human being can save you. Happy is the man who . . . depends on the LORD his God, the Creator of heaven, earth, and sea, and all that is in them. He always keeps his promises; he judges in favor of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry.”—Ps. 146:3, 5-7, Today’s English Version.
      This is really an exciting way of looking at today’s problems and their solution. In fact, is it not reasonable to look to the One who made our earth and mankind for the way out?
      Jehovah God is the Creator-Owner of the earth. The multiple provisions for sustaining life on it are amazing. Only a loving Father-Provider would shower such blessings on his children. Plant and animal life, the rivers, lakes and seas add so much to life’s enjoyment. No wonder the first model of what God purposed for earth came to be known as a paradise of Eden, or a “park of delights.”
      (Psalm 148:4) Praise him, YOU heavens of the heavens, And YOU waters that are above the heavens.
      *** w87 3/15 p. 25 Happy God, Happy People! ***
      ♦ 148:4—What are the ‘waters above the heavens’?
      The psalmist apparently meant the water-carrying clouds above the earth that empty themselves from time to time in the form of rain, which eventually flows back into the oceans. This cycle is essential to life, and its very existence gives praise to the Creator. Since the atmospheric expanse between the earth and the clouds can be spoken of as heavens, the psalmist referred to the clouds as the ‘waters above the heavens.’
      The Psalms make this truth self-evident: To be truly happy, we need a good relationship with Jehovah. Thus, the whole aim of God’s people and the purpose of our existence can be summed up in the psalmist’s concluding call: “Every breathing thing—let it praise Jah. Praise Jah, you people!”—Psalm 150:6.
      (Psalm 148:2-13) Praise him, all YOU his angels. Praise him, all YOU his army.  3 Praise him, YOU sun and moon. Praise him, all YOU stars of light.  4 Praise him, YOU heavens of the heavens, And YOU waters that are above the heavens.  5 Let them praise the name of Jehovah; For he himself commanded, and they were created.  6 And he keeps them standing forever, to time indefinite. A regulation he has given, and it will not pass away.  7 Praise Jehovah from the earth, YOU sea monsters and all YOU watery deeps,  8 YOU fire and hail, snow and thick smoke, You tempestuous wind, accomplishing his word,  9 YOU mountains and all YOU hills, YOU fruit trees and all YOU cedars, 10 YOU wild animals and all YOU domestic animals, YOU creeping things and winged birds, 11 YOU kings of the earth and all YOU national groups, YOU princes and all YOU judges of the earth, 12 YOU young men and also YOU virgins, YOU old men together with boys. 13 Let them praise the name of Jehovah, For his name alone is unreachably high. His dignity is above earth and heaven.
      *** w05 6/15 p. 24 pars. 4-6 Young People, Praise Jehovah! ***
      4 An outstanding reason for praising Jehovah is that he is the Creator. The 148th Psalm helps us to focus on this truth. Just imagine: If you approached a large group of people who in unison were singing a beautiful, moving song, how would you feel? What if the song’s lyrics were words that you knew to be true, expressing thoughts that you knew to be important, joyful, and uplifting? Would you feel a desire to learn the words and join in? Most of us would. Well, the 148th Psalm shows that you are in a situation that is similar but far more wonderful. That psalm describes an immense crowd, all praising Jehovah in unison. As you read the psalm, though, you may notice something unusual. What is that?
      5 Many of the praisers described in Psalm 148 can neither speak nor reason. For example, we read of the sun, moon, stars, snow, wind, mountains, and hills praising Jehovah. How can these inanimate creations do such a thing? (Verses 3, 8, 9) Really, in the same way that the trees, sea creatures, and animals do. (Verses 7, 9, 10) Have you ever watched a beautiful sunset or looked up at a full moon sailing across a sea of stars or laughed in delight at animals playing or gasped in awe at a gorgeous landscape? Then you have “heard” the song of praise coming from creation. All that Jehovah has made reminds us that he is the almighty Creator, that there is no one in all the universe so powerful, so wise, or so loving.—Romans 1:20; Revelation 4:11.
      6 The 148th Psalm also describes intelligent creation as praising Jehovah. In verse 2, we find Jehovah’s celestial “army,” the angels, praising God. In verse 11, powerful and influential humans, such as kings and judges, are invited to join in the praise. If the mighty angels find delight in praising Jehovah, what mere human could rightly say that he is too important to do so? Then, in verses 12 and 13, you young people are invited to join in and praise Jehovah as well. Are you moved to want to do that?
      *** w05 6/15 pp. 23-24 pars. 1-6 Young People, Praise Jehovah! ***
      YOUNG people are often keenly aware of what they are not yet allowed to do. Many of them can readily tell you how old they will have to be before they are allowed to cross a street alone or stay up until a certain hour of the evening or drive a car. At times, a youth may feel that too many of his or her eager requests meet with the same answer, “Wait until you are older.”
      2 You young people know that your parents feel that it is wise to make such restrictions, perhaps for your own protection. You surely know, too, that Jehovah is pleased when you obey your parents. (Colossians 3:20) Do you ever feel, though, as if you were waiting for your life to start? Are all the important things off limits until you are older? Nothing could be further from the truth! There is a work going on today that is far more important than any other privilege you might be waiting for. Are you young people allowed to join in this work? Better than that—you are actually invited to do so by the Most High God himself!
      3 What work are we talking about? Note the words of our theme text for this article: “Praise Jehovah from the earth, . . . you young men and also you virgins, you old men together with boys.” (Psalm 148:7, 12) There is your great privilege: You can praise Jehovah. As a young person, are you thrilled to take part in that work? Many are. To see why it is worth feeling that way, let us consider three questions. First,why should you praise Jehovah? Second, how can you praise him effectively? Third, when is it a good time to start praising Jehovah?
      Why Praise Jehovah?
      4 An outstanding reason for praising Jehovah is that he is the Creator. The 148th Psalm helps us to focus on this truth. Just imagine: If you approached a large group of people who in unison were singing a beautiful, moving song, how would you feel? What if the song’s lyrics were words that you knew to be true, expressing thoughts that you knew to be important, joyful, and uplifting? Would you feel a desire to learn the words and join in? Most of us would. Well, the 148th Psalm shows that you are in a situation that is similar but far more wonderful. That psalm describes an immense crowd, all praising Jehovah in unison. As you read the psalm, though, you may notice something unusual. What is that?
      5 Many of the praisers described in Psalm 148 can neither speak nor reason. For example, we read of the sun, moon, stars, snow, wind, mountains, and hills praising Jehovah. How can these inanimate creations do such a thing? (Verses 3, 8, 9) Really, in the same way that the trees, sea creatures, and animals do. (Verses 7, 9, 10) Have you ever watched a beautiful sunset or looked up at a full moon sailing across a sea of stars or laughed in delight at animals playing or gasped in awe at a gorgeous landscape? Then you have “heard” the song of praise coming from creation. All that Jehovah has made reminds us that he is the almighty Creator, that there is no one in all the universe so powerful, so wise, or so loving.—Romans 1:20; Revelation 4:11.
      6 The 148th Psalm also describes intelligent creation as praising Jehovah. In verse 2, we find Jehovah’s celestial “army,” the angels, praising God. In verse 11, powerful and influential humans, such as kings and judges, are invited to join in the praise. If the mighty angels find delight in praising Jehovah, what mere human could rightly say that he is too important to do so? Then, in verses 12 and 13, you young people are invited to join in and praise Jehovah as well. Are you moved to want to do that?
      *** w04 6/1 pp. 12-14 Creation Declares the Glory of God! ***
      The Earth and Its Creatures Glorify Jehovah
      16 Psalm 148 enumerates other ways in which creation declares God’s glory. Verse 7 reads: “Praise Jehovah from the earth, you sea monsters and all you watery deeps.” Yes, the “watery deeps” are full of wonders that highlight God’s wisdom and power. The blue whale has an average weight of 120 tons—as much as 30 elephants! Its heart alone weighs over 1,000 pounds [450 kg] and is able to pump some 14,000 pounds [6,400 kg] of blood through its body! Are these mammoth sea monsters slow and clumsy in the water? Hardly. They “zip around the oceans” at impressive speeds, says a report by European Cetacean Bycatch Campaign. Satellite tracking showed that “one animal migrated more than 10,000 miles [16,000 km] in 10 months.”
      17 The bottle-nosed dolphin normally dives to depths of 150 feet [45 m], but the deepest recorded dive for a dolphin is 1,795 feet [547 m]! How does this mammal survive such a dive? Its heartbeat slows down during the dive, and blood is diverted to the heart, lungs, and brain. Also, its muscles contain a chemical that stores oxygen. Elephant seals and sperm whales can dive to even greater depths. “Instead of fighting the pressure,” says Discover magazine, “they let it collapse their lungs completely.” They store most of the oxygen they need in their muscles. Clearly, these creatures are living testimony to the wisdom of an all-powerful God!
      18 Even seawater reflects Jehovah’s wisdom. Says Scientific American: “Every drop of water in the top 100 meters of the ocean contains thousands of free-floating, microscopic flora called phytoplankton.” This “invisible forest” cleans our air by drawing out billions of tons of carbon dioxide. Phytoplankton generates more than half of the oxygen we breathe.
      19 Psalm 148:8 says: “You fire and hail, snow and thick smoke, you tempestuous wind, accomplishing his word.” Yes, Jehovah also uses the inanimate forces of nature to accomplish his will. Consider fire. In decades past, forest fires were viewed only as destructive. Researchers now believe that fire plays an important ecological role, eliminating old or dying trees, promoting the germination of many seeds, recycling nutrients, and actually reducing the risk of wildfire. Snow is also vital, watering and fertilizing the ground, replenishing rivers, and insulating plants and animals from freezing temperatures.
      20 “You mountains and all you hills, you fruit trees and all you cedars,” recounts Psalm 148:9. Majestic mountains are a testimony to Jehovah’s great power. (Psalm 65:6) But they also serve a practical purpose. A report from the Institute of Geography in Bern, Switzerland, says: “All the major rivers in the world have their headwaters in mountains. More than half of humanity relies on the fresh water that accumulates in mountains . . . These ‘water towers’ are crucial to the welfare of humankind.” Even the commonplace tree is a glory to its Maker. A report by the United Nations Environment Programme says that trees “are important for the well-being of people in all countries . . . Many tree species are of major economic importance as the source of products such as timber, fruits, nuts, resins and gums. Worldwide, 2 billion people depend on wood for cooking and fuel.”
      21 Evidence of a wise creator is seen in the very design of a tree. Consider a simple leaf. The outside has a waxy coating that keeps the leaf from drying out. Right under the coating on the upper side is an array of cells containing chloroplasts. These contain chlorophyll, which absorbs light energy. Through a process called photosynthesis, leaves become “food factories.” Water is taken up through the tree’s roots and transported to the leaves by a sophisticated “plumbing system.” Thousands of tiny “valves” (called stomata) on a leaf’s underside open and close, letting in carbon dioxide. Light supplies the energy for water and carbon dioxide to combine and produce carbohydrates. The plant can now feed on the very food it has created. Yet, this “factory” is silent and beautiful. Instead of polluting, it emits oxygen as a by-product!
      22 “You wild animals and all you domestic animals, you creeping things and winged birds,” says Psalm 148:10. Many land animals and flying creatures display amazing abilities. The Laysan albatross can fly enormous distances (in one case 25,000 miles [40,000 km] in just 90 days). The blackpoll warbler makes the trip from North to South America, staying aloft for over 80 hours nonstop. The camel stores water, not in his hump as commonly thought, but in his digestive system, allowing him to go for long periods without becoming dehydrated. Little wonder, then, that engineers carefully observe the animal kingdom when designing machines and new materials. “If you want to build something that will behave well . . . and fit flawlessly in its environment,” says writer Gail Cleere, “chances are you’ll find a good example somewhere in nature.”
      23 Yes, creation truly declares the glory of God! From the starry heavens to plants and animals, each in its own way brings praise to its Creator. But what about us humans? How can we join nature in singing God’s praises?
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      New research suggests troubling links between job dissatisfaction and physical and mental health troubles.

      You know that saying, "This job may be hazardous to your health?" Those words, according to a recent study, might not solely apply to careers spent around toxic waste or malfunctioning equipment—they could very well describe any career that’s leaving you unsatisfied.
      Ohio State University (OSU) surveyed workers between 25 and 39 about both their job satisfaction and physical and mental health (building off a study from the ’70s), and found that those who expressed lower levels of fulfillment in their career were more likely to also report issues like depression or sleep difficulty.
      Maybe that’s not too surprising: If you’re not happy at work, your emotional well-being is bound to take a hit. But the results suggest that the effects may go further: Those with low satisfaction throughout their careers were also more likely to be diagnosed with emotional issues, the study says, and tend to worry excessively.
      Even your physical health can take a toll: Unsatisfied workers were more likely to report back pain, for instance, and also claimed to become ill with greater regularity than respondents who said they were content in their career.
      "The higher levels of mental health problems for those with low job satisfaction may be a precursor to future physical problems," Hui Zheng, a sociology professor at OSU and author of the study, said in a statement. "Increased anxiety and depression could lead to cardiovascular or other health problems that won’t show up until they are older."
      Though there’s no way to predict or guarantee how you’ll eventually feel about a given job, OSU’s study should serve as a wakeup call for job seekers. Take a close look at an employer’s workplace culture, whether you’re reading reviews on Kununu or simply observing your surroundings when you come onsite for an interview. Do people seem happy to be working there? It’s not a trivial question.
      Of course, it also helps to have a short list of fields where workers love what they do. A recent survey conducted by Monster and social media analytics firm Brandwatch included just that, identifying which industries tended to employ people who love their jobs. Travel, education, and media all ranked highly—but location counts, too. According to the survey, workers in low-population states like Idaho, Montana, and North Dakota were more likely to express job satisfaction.
      And if you’re still worried about your job potentially affecting your mental health, we’ve got good news: Another study ranked numerous careers by their likeliness tosafeguard your brain against Alzheimer’s disease. They key element? Working closely with other people: Physicians, lawyers, and speech pathologists were among the highest-ranking roles.

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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      ¿Cual de los tres supuestos consoladores de Job era el más malo?
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Which one of the 3 men that visited Job was the worst? (Most evil)
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Digging for Spiritual Gems: (8 min.)
      POINT VM – Job 1:6; 2:1—Who were allowed to enter before Jehovah? (w06 3/15 13 _6)
      1:6; 2:1—Who were allowed to enter before Jehovah? Among those who took their stand before Jehovah were God’s only-begotten Son, the Word; the faithful angels; and disobedient angelic ‘sons of God,’ including Satan the Devil. (John 1:1, 18) Satan and his demons were not ousted from heaven until shortly after the establishment of God’s Kingdom in 1914. (Revelation 12:1-12) By permitting them to enter before him, Jehovah brought before all spirit creatures Satan’s challenge and the issues it raised.
      Job 4:7, 18, 19—What false reasoning did Eliphaz present to Job? (w14 3/15 13 _3; w05 9/15 26 _4-5;w95 2/15 27 _5-6)
      *** w14 3/15 pp. 12-13 par. 3 How to Maintain a Positive Viewpoint ***
      3 For such brothers or sisters, negative feelings may be triggered by disappointments, illness, or some indication of the limitations of old age. (Ps. 71:9; Prov. 13:12; Eccl. 7:7) Moreover, every Christian must face the reality that the heart is treacherous and may condemn us even though God may be pleased with us. (Jer. 17:9; 1 John 3:20) The Devil falsely accuses God’s servants. And those who have Satan’s thinking may try to infect us with the view that faithless Eliphaz expressed—we are worthless to God. That was a lie in Job’s day as it is today.—Job 4:18, 19.
      *** w05 9/15 p. 26 Resist Wrong Thinking! ***
      In all three speeches, Eliphaz presented the idea that God is so exacting that nothing his servants do is good enough for him. “Look! In his servants he has no faith,” Eliphaz told Job, “and his angels he charges with faultiness.” (Job 4:18, footnote) Eliphaz later said of God: “In his holy ones he has no faith, and the heavens themselves are actually not clean in his eyes.” (Job 15:15) And he asked: “Does the Almighty have any delight in that you are righteous?” (Job 22:3) Bildad was in agreement with this viewpoint, for he stated: “There is even the moon, and it is not bright; and the stars themselves have not proved clean in [God’s] eyes.”—Job 25:5.
      We must be on guard against being influenced by such thinking. It can lead us to feel that God requires too much of us. This view attacks our very relationship with Jehovah. Moreover, if we succumb to this type of reasoning, how would we respond when we are given needed discipline? Rather than humbly accepting the correction, our heart may become “enraged against Jehovah himself,” and we may harbor resentment toward him. (Proverbs 19:3) How spiritually disastrous that would be!
      *** w95 2/15 pp. 27-28 A Lesson in How to Handle Problems ***
      Well, they based practically all their counsel on an incorrect supposition: that suffering comes only to those who sin. In his first speech, Eliphaz said: “Who that is innocent has ever perished? And where have the upright ever been effaced? According to what I have seen, those devising what is hurtful and those sowing trouble will themselves reap it.” (Job 4:7, 8) Eliphaz mistakenly believed that the innocent are immune to calamity. He reasoned that since Job was in severe straits, he must have sinned against God. Both Bildad and Zophar likewise insisted that Job repent of his sins.—Job 8:5, 6; 11:13-15.
      His three companions further disheartened Job by voicing personal ideas rather than godly wisdom. Eliphaz went so far as to say that ‘God has no faith in his servants’ and that it did not really matter to Jehovah whether Job was righteous or not. (Job 4:18; 22:2, 3) It is hard to imagine a more discouraging—or more untruthful—remark than that! Not surprisingly, Jehovah later rebuked Eliphaz and his companions for this blasphemy. “You men have not spoken concerning me what is truthful,” he said. (Job 42:7) But the most damaging assertion was yet to come.
      Job-1-5.docx
      Job-1-5.pdf
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Vídeo_sobre_información_sobre_Job.mp4

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